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Which cars get the most tickets?

The list of most-ticketed vehicles includes just two American-made cars.

By Karen Datko Oct 25, 2010 8:34AM

This post comes from Fred Yager at partner site


You may not believe the concept of "you are what you drive," but the police who hand out traffic tickets apparently do. A new study found that certain makes and models of cars were ticketed more than others -- and some of the results might surprise you.

It's no shock that the survey found that younger drivers in flashy sport utility vehicles or sports cars attracted their share of tickets. But would you be astonished to learn the car that attracted the most tickets was a $100,000 Mercedes SL convertible?


Basically, what the survey by Quality Planning, a research unit of Verisk Analytics serving the insurance industry, found was that expensive, high-performance luxury cars received more traffic violations than any other group. An analysis of the data, according to The Wall Street Journal, showed that these cars are usually driven by middle-aged men.

One way to hedge your bets against getting a ticket, according to the study, is to buy a sensible American car. The list of most-ticketed vehicles includes just two American-made cars and both have been discontinued -- the Hummer and the Pontiac Grand Prix.


Bob U'Ren, a Quality Planning senior vice president, told the WSJ that his company studied data on about 2 million cars to see which models racked up the most moving violations. That's how they came up with the winner, the Mercedes SL, whose owners collect four times as many tickets as the average driver.

Two other high-powered Mercedes also made the top 10 --  the 507-horsepower CLS 63 AMG sedan and the CLK 63 AMG coupe. Among others with above-average ticket rates were four small cars: the Scion tC and xB, the Acura Integra and the Volkswagen GTI. Interestingly, in second place on the list of most-ticketed cars was the Toyota Camry Solara convertible -- a car favored by middle-aged women.


For those of you who may want to drive the kind of vehicle police seem to ignore, the survey found less-ticketed models are SUVs, minivans and sedans, with the least-ticketed vehicle being the now discontinued Buick Rainier SUV. This was possibly because the average driver of the Rainier is 61 years old.


Separate research by two George Mason University economists produced these results, according to the WSJ:

  • Out-of-towners caught speeding are more likely to get a ticket than local residents.
  • Cities with budget shortfalls tend to hand out more tickets and bigger fines.
  • Women are nearly 33% less likely to get a ticket than men. However, once women reach about 75 years of age, the advantage disappears.

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